All Questions

4
votes
4answers
266 views

Working but still in college, worth investing?

Currently, I'm in a predictable but yet uncertain future with my money situation. I'm working for the next semester and summer, but I'll be going back to do a 2-years graduate program in the fall. ...
5
votes
1answer
236 views

Credit check for refinance inquiry?

I'm thinking of refinancing my mortgage. I called my current lender, and was given a quote for a refinance with a lower interest rate, and $1200 in closing costs. Now I'm trying to shop around for ...
4
votes
1answer
6k views

Is a defensive driving course worth the money? How much is a typical insurance discount?

My car insurer offers a defensive driving discount. I'm under 30, never had an accident or ticket, and paying a pretty cheap rate already, but paying less is always better. The insurer's published ...
2
votes
1answer
140 views

Asset protection: When should an individual seriously consider shielding their assets?

I keep hearing people talking about asset protection, and that in any serious business venture you're bound to get sued. Due to limited resources, people are bound to delay their protection strategies ...
2
votes
1answer
647 views

Sites to obtain historical chart of currency exchange rates?

Besides Yahoo Finance, is there any site where I can obtain history chart of currency exchange, for cross comparison purpose? (As I realize British Pound against my country currency is the lowest ...
2
votes
2answers
3k views

How does “taking over payments” work?

I will be purchasing a new car fairly soon here, and could help my SO out a lot by having her "take over" payments on my current car. I've heard this term colloquially, but I'm not sure how it works ...
5
votes
4answers
1k views

Will paying off my car early hinder my ability to build credit?

I don't have much credit because I am young but I did recently purchase a car which I am paying 9% on. This seems ridiculously high to me and I was thinking about pulling out some of my stocks to pay ...
6
votes
2answers
348 views

Best way to fund solo 401k account in cash crunch?

I'm Self-employed in the US. 2010 was a good year, and I am facing a big income tax bill. Will owe $18-20k in April. I can reduce that significantly if I max out my solo 401k at $45k. Haven't made any ...
2
votes
1answer
170 views

Obtaining a Taxpayer Identification Number

I am a student on a F1 Visa in the US and would like to apply for personal student loans from Banks like Chase, Sallie Mae. Being a non US Citizen and on a student Visa, I am unauthorized to work, ...
4
votes
1answer
1k views

How to quantify differences in return with low expense ratio vs high expense ratio mutual funds?

One often repeated piece of financial advice is to work to minimize your expense ratios in your mutual funds in order to maximize your returns. While it is often straightforward to determine the ...
3
votes
1answer
805 views

How can I determine why I received a Form 1099-G?

I received a 1099-G Tax Document in the mail today. Is there a way to determine why I got this and what it is related to?
15
votes
4answers
312k views

How to correct a mistake made when writing a check?

I think I know the answer to this, but I'm not sure, and it's a good question, so I'll ask: What is the accepted/proper way to correct a mistake made on a check? For instance, I imagine that in any ...
2
votes
2answers
438 views

At retirement age, can I roll my IRA variable annuity into a bank IRA?

I have reached retirement age and have a variable annuity with Hartford. I would like to get out of the annuity and roll over into a bank account IRA. I have held the product for 12 years and there ...
7
votes
2answers
803 views

How to use a cash budget and buy items online?

Using a cash budget, say we save $100 for household items. Typically, we would withdraw $100 from the ATM, put it in an envelope, and then later, go to home depot or walmart or wherever and buy an ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

How do credit card payments work? What ensures the retailer charges the right amount?

If I buy book from an online shopping site via my credit card, how can the retailer get money from my credit card? What is in place to ensure the retailer gets the exact amount of money I should pay, ...
3
votes
1answer
678 views

Do I need a new EIN since I am hiring employees for my LLC?

I have an LLC that I set up but at the time it was created, the business did not have any employees (this is for consulting work I am doing). So I now have an EIN for this LLC but during the IRS ...
8
votes
6answers
1k views

Are investment companies safe for investing a large sum of money?

I'm a computer programmer who got in early it a successful internet company. My business is entering a transition period and I'm not sure if I'll be making the same income for much longer. I'd say I ...
7
votes
2answers
4k views

What is the difference between PPF and NSC saving schemes?

I want to invest money in either a PPF (Public Provident Fund) or NSC (National Savings Certificate) scheme, but I would like to understand the differences between them.
4
votes
2answers
466 views

Should I try to optimize my credit score before applying for a loan?

I am considering shopping for a house somewhere this year, which of course would involve shopping for a mortgage. And mortgage rates depend on the credit score. My credit history is clean from trouble,...
4
votes
1answer
202 views

First-Time Homebuyer Credit: Did not get my housing tax credit yet. What should I do?

I feel that my new accountant has dropped the ball. In doing my taxes, he failed to get me and my wife the new home tax credit. In looking into it, those who never owned a home were to get $8k back ...
10
votes
5answers
21k views

How to transfer money to yourself internationally? [closed]

I tried to find a question that already answered this but surprisingly I wasn't able to. My situation is this: I'm from the U.S. and I have student loans there I need to pay off. However, I am now ...
3
votes
1answer
117 views

What book or source of information can help me build a business from tax money?

My wife and I are both employed. We are in the middle class family tax bracket, but we don't own a house thus making our tax very high. I want to start a business to work it after hours and divert ...
13
votes
3answers
4k views

What is most time-efficient way to track portfolio asset allocation?

I've recently decided I wanted to track my investments over time so that I could accurately determine really cool financial things like: My actual asset allocation My actual rate of return over time ...
28
votes
7answers
12k views

Why is the fractional-reserve banking not a Ponzi scheme? [closed]

Operating a Ponzi scheme is a crime which I suppose has some sort of definition in the penal code or criminal law. It is a fraudulent investment operation that pays returns to separate investors from ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

Is owning ADR share for a good idea for long term investor

I am pretty new to ADR concept. Just that recently, I realize by owning ADR, I will be charged an amount of fee. http://www.investopedia.com/ask/answers/06/adrdepositorybank.asp How frequent the ADR ...
12
votes
5answers
9k views

Can making a donation reduce your tax bill?

If my adjusted gross income is $1000, and I make a donation of $100, then it seems that I'm still going to have to pay a tax on the $1000. The donation is deductible, so I don't pay any tax on that, ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

Does owning BP ADR from US stock market required to pay custody fees

Helo, I am a Malaysia investor. Recently, I invest in BP ADR from US market, through my local broking firm. I was wondering, whether owning BP ADR, requires me to pay custody fee. What my ...
7
votes
6answers
883 views

What would happen if the Euro currency went bust?

Seems to be a lot in the news recently (Google Business news UK) discussing that the euro currency may not survive. They suggested it has a 1/5 chance of surviving the next decade. What would ...
3
votes
2answers
528 views

What does the Fed do with the extra money it is printing? [closed]

Last month I read some news about the Fed printing money to devalue the U.S. Dollar compared to other currencies. But what do they do with this extra money?
11
votes
1answer
11k views

Why does Bank of America sometimes refer to itself as Banc of America on some documents?

Why does Bank of America sometimes refer to itself as 'Banc of America'? Are they two separate institutions responsible for different things? It's always seemed odd to me.
4
votes
2answers
382 views

This is my first job and I've only worked for 4 months in 2010. With a default withholding, should I expect a large refund?

I started my first job out of college in September. I claimed no deductions on my W-4 at that time. My company is withholding enough each month to pay 1/12 of the tax on my yearly salary. I have ...
8
votes
3answers
166 views

Fees and Individual Retirement Accounts

I recently resigned from a full-time position where I saved for retirement via a 401(k). I'm now self-employed, but I want to make sure my retirement plan stays on track. I spoke with an investment ...
6
votes
1answer
3k views

Sending money from Canada to the US

I want to transfer money to an American bank account, but I am in Canada. What is the cheapest way to do so? MetaFilter has: USPS mail order - $700 limit, $4 charge Vanilla wire transfer (My bank ...
6
votes
1answer
213 views

Can a check used for medical expenses be written off if it is written in the current year and clears in the following year?

I am considering writing a check to pay off my braces all at once since it is an amount larger than 7.5% of my income. However it is getting very close to the end of the year; if I write the check ...
4
votes
2answers
3k views

Legality of using a symbol as a signature for credit cards, checks, etc.?

A friend of mine today told me that he signed everything using a specific symbol (a star) that he draws instead of his name "for security". Is this a legal practice to do when signing for your credit ...
4
votes
1answer
837 views

Does unemployment compensation count as AGI?

Does unemployment compensation count as part of your Annual Gross Income? (This is related to my other question about writing off getting braces on my taxes)
6
votes
2answers
1k views

I am an American citizen but have never lived in the US. Do I need to fill a W8-BEN or a W-9?

I have a dual citizenship (US and non-US), and I have never lived in the US, nor have I worked in the US, except for 4 non-consecutive months as a counselor in a summer camp. I work in a multi-...
19
votes
5answers
4k views

Buy a smaller home now, and buy a bigger home later OR just wait to buy the bigger home later

Option 1: Buy a smaller house/condo now and later down the road (5-10 years) sell it to buy a bigger place. Option 2: Wait, rent (for 5-10 years), and save to buy a bigger place. Background ...
5
votes
2answers
473 views

Is there a difference between conversion of a traditonal IRA to a Roth IRA vs opening a Roth and transferring the money from a traditional IRA?

Is converting a traditional IRA to a Roth IRA the same as opening a Roth IRA account and rolling over the money from the traditional IRA? Are they different in any way?
6
votes
2answers
742 views

What does zero interest on credit card balance transfers mean in practical terms?

I'm considering applying for another credit card with my existing bank. (It's a Platinum Credit Card if any one is interested). The site states: 0% on balance transfers for 16 months What does this ...
5
votes
3answers
6k views

What laws govern check clearing in the US?

When I deposit a check in my bank, the bank credits the first $100 of the sum immediately and the rest of the sum is credited the next day, usually. I know that it's not a real clearing - i.e. if the ...
2
votes
3answers
891 views

Foreign currency conversion for international visitors to ecommerce web site?

It is really not personal finance question but I haven't found a more appropriate place for it. My question is about currency conversion. Let's imagine I have two prices for one item: Russian shop: ...
9
votes
2answers
9k views

Does the sale of personal items need to be declared as income on my income taxes?

I have been selling some books that I own. I am selling them at a loss (less than I bought them for and less than market rate). However, I have gotten about $1,400 in income minus $400 for shipping ...
11
votes
5answers
665 views

How does the lender benefit from offering a Reverse Mortgage?

It is always a good idea before entering into any financial arrangement to understand what benefit the person on the other side of the deal is getting to fully understand whether the deal is equitable ...
1
vote
1answer
188 views

Effect of home country inflation vs. resident country inflation on immigrant's assets?

Let's assume that there is an immigrant whose resident/host country is US which has low inflation while his home country has high inflation. The immigrant invests in his home country using his ...
18
votes
5answers
14k views

What U.S. banks offer two-factor authentication (such as password & token) for online banking? [closed]

Do you know of any US banks that allow you to have two-factor authentication (i.e. password and token) for your online account? Paypal does that, but it's not really a bank. For some reason banks seem ...
12
votes
10answers
860 views

I can make a budget, but how can I get myself to consistently follow my budget?

I'm able to sit down and put together a budget. My problem is following it. After about a month of being strict, I lose sight of things, and get off the budget. It's then a couple of months later ...
4
votes
1answer
184 views

DIY retirement savings plans for Canadian small business?

I work for a small business that currently offers no retirement plan. A few of my coworkers and I are more or less couch potato investors, but we each manage our own self-directed RRSPs or mutual fund ...
4
votes
2answers
4k views

How to calculate incremental interest rate for home refinancing?

Summary: When you refinance your house and borrow more money, how to calculate the incremental interest rate you pay? I currently owe $95K on my house, 4.75% interest rate, $510 monthly payment (...
5
votes
2answers
997 views

When does selling (writing) options count for tax purposes?

Let's say I sell an option (say a naked put) that expires in January. If I wait until January to let it expire, does that mean the profits will count towards next year's taxes? Or since I actually ...

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